Brian Vitori became just the seventh bowler in history to take a five-wicket haul on his one-day international debut as Zimbabwe recorded a four-wicket win over Bangladesh in their series opener on Friday.
Left-armer Vitori impressed during the Test match, which Zimbabwe won by 130 runs, and carried that form into the five-match ODI series as he took 5 for 30 in his ten overs – the sixth best figures by a one-day debutant – to bowl Bangladesh out for just 184.
Although a late collapse took some of the gloss off their victory, Vusi Sibanda hit 96 as Zimbabwe coasted home with almost eight overs to spare.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers were clinical for the better part of the innings, with a 105-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim the only saving grace for Bangladesh, who were bowled out in 48.4 overs after being put in to bat.
With a bit of moisture in the pitch there was more lateral movement at the start of the innings than there was in the Test match, and Vitori took full advantage of that as he dismissed Bangladesh’s top four batsmen.
With Chris Mpofu bowling a rigid line and length at the other end to stifle the tourists’ aggressive opening pair, Vitori made the initial breakthrough when Tamim Iqbal tried to break the shackles and was caught at mid-on.
The left-armer then ripped through Shahriar Nafees’ defences to knock out his leg stump, and was on a hat-trick in his next over when Mohammad Ashraful and Imrul Kayes fell to consecutive deliveries.
With Mahmudullah slashing a wide Elton Chigumbura delivery to backward point Bangladesh were a woeful 43 for five after 17 overs, but as usual their captain came to the rescue with 53 from 63 balls, and was backed up by a more patient 59 from Rahim.
The slow seam of Hamilton Masakadza eventually parted the pair, as Shakib drove to short extra cover to trigger another collapse.
Spinners Prosper Utseya and Ray Price each picked up a scalp, before Vitori returned to have Shafiul Islam caught at mid-off to complete his five-wicket haul.
Despite their low target Zimbabwe set off in pursuit with an aggressive attitude, forcing an early introduction of spin from the tourists.
That worked when Shakib bowled Brendan Taylor through the gate to make the early breakthrough, but an 86-run stand between Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza just about put the match beyond doubt.
The duo took the score to 112 inside 23 overs before a bout of indecision saw Masakadza (41) run out in a mix-up.
When Tatenda Taibu and Craig Ervine both fell to Rubel Hossain for ducks the hosts looked a touch shaky on 124 for four, but with no scoreboard pressure Sibanda was able to revive the innings with Forster Mutizwa.
Sibanda threw away a potential second one-day international hundred when he needlessly took on the short ball from Rubel to be caught at short midwicket, but even a fourth wicket for Rubel – the scalp of Chigumbura – couldn’t stop Zimbabwe as Mutizwa finished unbeaten on 27.
The second one-day international takes place at Harare Sports Club on Sunday, when Bangladesh will be desperate to reverse their fortunes.